Mmmm gentrificationy

There was a time when I was a guerrilla radio DJ. The space that hosted us and still hosts many grassroots programs is under threat of eviction.
Here's the press release:

Rhizome Collective Sounds International Call: Code Violations
May Force Eviction

Austin, Texas – March 11, 2009 - The Rhizome Collective is a
consensus-run 501c3 nonprofit organization that has operated a center
for community organizing and urban sustainability in an East Austin
warehouse since 2000. This warehouse was inspected on March 3rd by
officials from the Building and Standards Commission of the City of
Austin. On Thursday, March 5th The Code Enforcement Division of The
City of Austin delivered a letter outlining a list of code violations
to the Collective. The City mandated that the residents and
organizations based in the warehouse must vacate before March 16th.
The Collective is looking into all options, but is preparing to vacate
the warehouse by the deadline. Before this inspection, the Collective
was in negotiations to buy the warehouse from its current owner.

The Rhizome Collective is making every effort to work with the City on
this matter. Contractors are currently completing an estimate of the
cost required to bring the building into compliance with city building
codes. Based on conversations with contractors, the Collective does
not believe it will be possible to get an estimate, obtain permits and
complete the work by the City’s deadline.

The Rhizome Collective including Inside Books, Bikes Across Borders
and Food Not Bombs is making an international call to supporters. The
Collective is seeking monetary donations, in-kind donations, funding
sources and statements of solidarity. Donate through the link below.

In 2004, the City of Austin donated a 9.8 acre brownfield in the
Montopolis neighborhood to the Rhizome Collective. The property served
as a legally operated municipal landfill from 1967 to 1970, and was
illegally dumped on for approximately fifteen years following the
closure of the landfill. In the same year, the EPA awarded the
Rhizome Collective with a $200,000 Cleanup Grant as part of their
Brownfields Program. From January 2005 to July 2006, 680 tires, 10.1
tons of trash, and 31.6 tons of recyclable metal were removed from the
brownfield. This property is not being affected by the code
violations on the warehouse.

The Collective is an internationally recognized model for intentional
communities that comprise a massive movement focused on justice and
autonomous sustainability.

In the nine years of its existence, the collective has collaborated
with many local, national and international organizations by providing
free or low cost space and through direct participation in their
initiatives. The Collective has provided space to people working with
the organizations mentioned above and, to name a few others: The
University of Texas, Campaign to End the Death Penalty, Acción
Zapatista, Rosa Clemente and Monkey Wrench Books. Members of the
Collective have supported initiatives including projects of Indymedia,
PODER, El Comite Obrero Fronterizo, Pastors for Peace, The American
Friends Service Committee, The Student Farmworker Alliance and
communities in both Mexico and Cuba. Inside Books sent over 18,000
books to Texas prisoners last year. Bikes Across Borders has organized
more than fourteen bike delivery caravans since 2001, sending over 700
bicycles to Cuba, Mexico, and Central America. Projects directly
benefiting the community have been prioritized at the Collective such
as the creation of educational systems for sustainable living in urban
areas, workshops on puppetry and street theatre, after-school programs
focusing on bicycles, gardening and the arts.

The people affected include those who work at the warehouse in order
to: furnish books to Texas prisoners, feed the homeless, teach
neighbors how to fix their bicycles, run independent media projects
and organize workshops on urban sustainability. The work performed
here over the past nine years is a point of pride for the Collective,
the greater Austin community and communities worldwide.

This is an official communication arrived at by consensus of the Collective.

For more information, please contact Laura Merner.

Contact Info:
Laura Merner
Collective Member
Phone: (201) 739-6341
Email: lorax@riseup.net

- Donate Now!
- http://www.rhizomecollective.org/
- http://www.insidebooksproject.org/
- http://www.bikesacrossborders.org/
- http://www.kpwr.org/
- http://www.myspace.com/austinfoodnotbombs
That is cold. Honestly, if you've seen the space, there's very little chance they can bring it up to code by that deadline. Maybe if anyone is going to the Bikes Across Borders, there can be some preliminary clean-up.

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